Submitted by A1DesignBuild

More than 60 children in Bellingham Public Schools will get new desks and chairs this week courtesy of A1 DesignBuild. The desks will be delivered over the next two weeks.

A1 staff spent the weekend before Thanksgiving putting the finishing touches on 61 desks sized for elementary-school-aged kids who don’t have a place to do their schoolwork at home.

Instagram idea

Construction Team Manager Shawn Serdahl saw an Instagram post where a builder had built desks to donate to children in need during pandemic school closures. He loved the idea, knowing that with so many kids sitting in their beds, or at the kitchen table, or somewhere other than a desk, remote learning was even more difficult.

“When my family was getting our two girls set up at home for remote learning, we realized that our youngest did not have a great place for online learning without the distraction of the other goings on in the house,” Serdahl explains.  They ended up buying a desk for her to set up in her room.

“We are fortunate enough to afford such things. There are far too many families that do not have the resources to simply order a desk online. I thought it would be fun and in keeping with our desire to support our community to use our skills as builders to help.”

Idea to delivery in four weeks; Bellingham Millworks donates supplies

Serdahl showed the post to his colleagues; by the end of that same day, A1’s General Manager Patrick Martin had built a prototype and Contracts Manager Justus Peterson had talked with Bellingham Millworks about getting materials donated. The following week, A1 had 25 sheets of plywood (10 donated and the other 15 at a significantly reduced cost) at its shop ready to start building. The project went from idea to delivery in four weeks.

 A1 DesignBuild will be posting the plans ( along with instructions for how to build the desk, which they produced in two sizes: one fits kindergarten through second or third-graders, the other, which includes a cubby, is for kids in grades 3-6.

About A1

A1DesignBuild has been making homes better in Bellingham for 65 years. The company works with people who care about energy performance, stewardship and craft, on projects that range from back porch additions to high-performance custom homes. A1 sees every project as a way to make life better in Whatcom County by keeping choices local, making their workers owners, and sharing time and resources to enrich our community.

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